Highlights and Shadows


54m 1938

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Eastman Kodak Co.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
54m

Synopsis

With the assertion that "photography is the mirror of the modern world," this film examines the many components of photography, such as film, still photography and x-ray images, and details the manufacture of the basic materials and equipment needed to record the visual image. At the Eastman Kodak manufacturing plants, cameras, film and photographic paper are produced; the documentary explains the processes leading to the creation of these materials. The film notes that George Eastman was the inventor of amateur photography, and credits machinery-produced camera construction with the simple and economic manufacturing of the camera. Staff of scientists are seen measuring the quality of their products and testing designs. The construction of camera lenses, performed at the Hawkeye Works Eastman Co. plant, involves the use of various types of glass, which are formed into lenses by lens grinding machines. The Kodak Park plant, which operates day and night, all year round, produces the basic chemicals, metals and solutions used to make film. These include: sodium nitrate, copper, wood pulp, sulpher, cotton and silver. After the film base solution dries, it is rolled onto a solid sheet, after which a light-sensitive emulsion is applied to it. The light-sensitive emulsion is prepared by mixing silver and acid, which results in the light-sensitive silver nitrate. After the emulsion is applied to the film base, the wide film sheets that are to be used for motion picture positive film are sliced into individual rolls thirty-five millimeters in width and one thousand feet in length. Next, a machine cuts perforations into the film and the final product is packaged. Wood pulp is used in the manufacturing of paper, and a barium sulphate coating is applied to protect the character and surface finish of the paper. After the paper is aged and dehydrated, it is treated with emulsion, cut into various sizes and put into distribution. Sensitometry, which started as an experiment in the 1890's, is a process used by Kodak to perform extensive testing of their film products and develop more film. The narration mentions Kodak's post-graduate school for training new technicians. Further examples of the many uses of photography are given, including infrared photography, which was used to x-ray the contents of an Egyptian tomb; medical x-rays; photojournalism and the recording of historical events, such as the coronation of King George VI by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The documentary concludes with the assertion that "photography has equipped man to record the world as he finds it."

Film Details

Release Date
Jan 1938
Premiere Information
not available
Production Company
Eastman Kodak Co.
Country
United States

Technical Specs

Duration
54m

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

According to an August 1938 article in Motion Picture Daily, this film was screened at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel on August 18, 1938. The article also quotes director Ken Edwards as saying, "The picture cost a great deal of money," and notes that plans were made to cut the film into shorter lengths for distribution to scientific and technical organizations.